Entries by Rina R. Russo

Second and Sixth Federal Circuits Expand LGBTQ Workplace Rights

  While there is no federal law expressly prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment, two federal appellate courts have recently expanded the rights of gay and transgender employees. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which presides over New York, Connecticut and Vermont, ruled that employees are protected from discrimination on the basis […]


Supreme Court Denies Review of Extended Leave of Absence Decision

    The U.S. Supreme Court will not review an appellate court decision which held that a leave of absence from work lasting several months is not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That decision came from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The plaintiff […]

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NLRB’s New Employee Handbook Guidance

“Disparaging or offensive language is prohibited.” “Employees may not engage in disrespectful conduct.” The above rules might seem reasonable to you or perhaps you have seen them in your own company’s employment policies. However, prior to the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) ruling in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), these types […]

NLRB Announces Proposed New Joint Employer Standard

On September 13, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced its new proposed rule regarding its joint employer standard. It provides that an employer may be determined a “joint employer” of another employer’s employees: 1) if the first employer “possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of […]


OSHA Clarifies Its Final Rule Regarding Employer Drug Testing Policies

This fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum clarifying its position on post-incident drug testing. In the memorandum, OSHA noted that drug testing used to evaluate the underlying cause of a workplace incident that harmed or could have harmed an employee is lawful. However, OSHA cautioned that if an employer does […]


Now is the Time to Revisit Your Parental Leave Policies

At one time, it was common for employers to offer maternity leave to new mother employees, but not offer any leave to new father employees.  However, in 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its most recent enforcement guidance for employers on parental leave policies: “[E]mployers should carefully distinguish between leave related to any […]

Department of Labor Announces Final Overtime Rule

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final overtime rule, setting the minimum salary threshold to qualify for the white-collar exemptions (executive, administrative, and professional) from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements at $35,568.00 per year ($684 per week). This is slightly higher than what was previously proposed by the DOL […]

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What it Means for Employers

Updated: March 25, 2020 On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) into law. The FFCRA contains two main provisions that address employee leaves – the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”).  Both of these provisions go into effect […]

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Department of Labor Issues Required Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster

March 25, 2020  On March 25, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released its Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) notice.  The required notice can be located here (please see first link under “Posters” section). The notice contains basic information about the types of leave certain employees are entitled to under the FFCRA. […]

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Department of Labor Issues Regulations on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

April 20, 2020  The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has issued temporary regulations interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The temporary regulations cover many topics in 125 pages, and this client alert seeks to summarize some of the main points of the regulations. Covered Employers Private employers with fewer than 500 employees […]

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EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance to Allow Employers to Test Employees for COVID-19

April 28, 2020  On April 17, 2020, and April 23, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released updates to its publication, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” With the prospect of employees returning to work, the EEOC’s updates address several issues inherent in […]

Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Workers

June 15, 2020  In ruling on three cases before it in one opinion (Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express, Inc., et al. v. Zarda et al., as Co-Independent Executors of the Estate of Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al.), the United States Supreme Court […]

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OSHA Requires the Recording of COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace

July 22, 2020  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its earlier enforcement guidance on recording COVID-19 cases in the workplace. The updated guidance requires employers to investigate whether a particular case of coronavirus is work-related. This may prove to be a difficult task for many employers as those infected are often uncertain of […]

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Department of Labor’s Updated Temporary Rule on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

September 14, 2020    On September 11, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an updated temporary rule on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The updated temporary rule was anticipated following the August 2020 ruling from United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Oetken that vacated […]

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The EEOC Confirms that Employers May Require Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine, with Exceptions

January 12, 2021  On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated and expanded its technical assistance publication addressing issues arising under the federal equal employment opportunity laws implicated in the COVID-19 pandemic. In its guidance, the EEOC indicated that employers may require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, so long as such requirement […]